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A cabin built on Ward’s Kodiak Lake for the forthcoming movie Walden. Courtesy of Ehren Joseph

Mile High Movie Magic

A host of high-profile films put Colorado cinema in the spotlight.

On May 11, the Denver Film Society will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Denver Film Festival with a party at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. (The festivities won’t be entirely self-centered: The DFS will toast Aurora’s High Noon Entertainment, which produces HGTV’s megahit Fixer Upper.) DFS’ arrival at middle age is just one of the milestones making 2017 a compelling year for Colorado’s film scene. Breckenridge’s Mandy Moore—no, not the former teen pop idol—choreographed the dance sequences in La La Land, the musical that won a record seven Golden Globes in January (and an Oscar for best picture…for about 150 seconds). Argent Pictures, the Denver- and L.A.-based production company that backed Academy Award–nominated Hacksaw Ridge, will premiere American Made, starring Tom Cruise, in September. Then there’s the upcoming release of Walden, which is based on the Henry David Thoreau book, directed by Denver native Alex Harvey, and shot at bucolic local spots such as Mt. Sneffels Wilderness near Ridgway and Kodiak Lake in Ward. Together, these cinematic achievements prove Colorado can put together one heck of an ensemble cast.

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